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A little gender experiment confirms that Reddit is full of douchebags

Now that's what I call a bridegroom.

So someone on Reddit did a little experiment that confirmed what we already know: that Reddit is overflowing with misogynist douchebags. Here’s the experimenter explaining her somewhat casual experimental protocol:

I noticed after two months as my female username I was constantly having to defend my opinions. I mean constantly. I would post something lighthearted, and have people commenting taking my comment literally and telling me I was dumb or I didn’t understand xyz. People were so eager to talk incredibly rudely and condescendingly to me. People were downright hateful and it made me consider leaving.

Then I decided to experiment with usernames and came up with an obviously male name. While people still disagreed with me which is to be expected, I had more people come to my defense when I had a different opinion and absolutely no hateful or condescending comments. I am completely shocked at how different I am treated since having a male username. I am not saying Reddit is sexist, well kind of yes, but I think it’s really interesting and thought that some other girls on here would want to get male usernames and see the difference for themselves.

She posted this in TwoXChromosomes, a subreddit devoted to women and women’s issues that is regularly overrun with angry MRA dudes and an assortment of FemRAs. This time the MRA squad didn’t take over the discussion, and numerous 2XCers reported experiences similar to that of the OP.

earthpeesfire noted:

I had a feminine user name years ago. Fuck that. It was like having a target on my back.

cantstopthe tried to duplicate the experiment on a smaller scale:

Just wanted to say that I made an alt yesterday with a female name, and continue to post the kind of things I normally post under this account. And today I was told I should be raped.

That has NEVER happened in all my 4 years of being on this site with various neutral names.

misscastaway also tried posting with a clearly female name:

I just tried posting on an discussion from this account. Immediately an insult including the word cunt and remarks on how I’m making a fool out of myself.

Might be a coincidence but when posting from my regular account (which is very gender neutral) that I use for discussions related to science, fitness, books etc I have never received this kind of behaviour. Not even when it turned out someone knew more about the subject and I was wrong/short in my knowledge. Then I was given another point of view, with a source – that was it.

I guess I’ll keep using those accounts in parallel now just to see if this was just by chance or if it really makes such a difference.

fatchick400 reported on the results of a similar experiment:

I created this account a few days ago to comment on some fat-hate, and have actually found it really interesting to see reddit from a different point of view.

The biggest surprise for me is the difference in how fat women are treated vs fat men. There is so much more hatred towards the fat women. A lot of people even refer to these women as “it”, completely negating their gender all together.

Meanwhile in the posts about fat men there are a few hateful comments, but they’re mostly full of light hearted jokes. In a few posts where the guys were obviously morbidly obese, barely anyone commented on the guys’ weight at all. Yet in posts with woman who are maybe 200lbs , mocking her weight always seems to be the main focus of conversation.

twofish added her experience to the pile of anecdotal evidence:

Most people on reddit assume I am male until I make it a point to say otherwise. More often than not, once it’s discovered that I own a vagina I’m no longer taken seriously, my opinions are belittled, and a slough of sexist and misogynist jokes/accusations get thrown my way.

I love Reddit for many reasons but it is one of THE most hostile places on the internet to be a woman.

Over on the Men’s Rights subreddit, meanwhile, the locals largely dismissed the experiment as unscientific and biased. As DavidByron put it:

Just seems like someone who set out to “prove” her own biases. She was biased to begin with, she ran the “experiment” in a biased way, interpreted the results in a biased way and then presented them to support her initial assumptions.

It’s the usual princess feminism which says men have it easy and women have it hard even while the exact opposite is happening. Why wouldn’t she say which usernames she used in her “test” so others can look at her methodology? Of course it’s not serious but then that’s the point.

Others explained that they weren’t really sexist because they’re such earnest fanboys of GirlWritesWhat, a woman who is able to bypass the usual MRA misogyny by pandering to the misogynists’ fantasy of male martyrdom.

The woman who posted about the experiment in the first place has now popped in to the r/menrights thread, and has (very politely) suggested to Mr. Byron that he try the experiment himself. I guess we’ll see what happens.

290 replies on “A little gender experiment confirms that Reddit is full of douchebags”

The reason I started coming here is because of the sexism I was seeing all over the internet. I guess people’s true colors come out when they can be anonymous online.

I’ve been curious to try out the gender experiment… but it’d probably just raise my blood pressure, which I can’t afford right now.

I’d do the experiment, but I don’t want to go and see if people on reddit want to rape me. I’m a little flower sometimes…

I really love DavidByron’s economy of language: the phrase “princess feminism” has this wonderful effect of essentially proving their point while disagreeing with the point in the rest of the paragraph.

My guess is that we won’t see DavidByron attempt to replicate their results (lol Internet science is not scientific enuff), I would like to suggest a few alternative handles:

xXShelley69xoxo

StephanieDickinson

Sappha

LadyByron

I’ve been doing this online for nearly 20 years with various gender neutral nicks and in offline correspondence sign letters etc. with my first two initials followed by my last name. Invariably responses start “Dear Sir” (They don’t even write “Dear Sir or Madam” any more like they did in the 80s and 90s) and address my concerns directly.

Over all that time it has become evident to me that things are getting much worse. I had suggested to various misogynist commenters in some forums to try this experiment but the reaction was always negative along the lines of “It wouldn’t prove anything”. Threatening belief with real life experience, that is observable factual events, seems to be the issue. Willful ignorance is certainly some people’s version of bliss.

Looking through DavidByron’s comment history I see that along with being an MRA he’s also … a Stalinist, who is basically the equivalant of a holocaust denier when it comes to Stalin’s genocidal mass murders.

Of course it wouldn’t prove anything to them, but the anecdata they pull up like with that group of lacrosse players or that girl who accused her father of molestation prove, beyond a doubt, that there is a matriarchy and that women are evil.

I imagine they are unwilling to test the experiment because they know full well what the results will be and that scares them. They’re afraid of having their fragile egos shattered when they’re called irrational, get insulted, and threatened. They would also have to endure the harassment that many a woman online has faced when she steps into a male-dominated forum. Then they’d have to admit that we’re not just making it up.

I mean, with my own experiences on youtube and message boards, I can cite many instances where I was called irrational, my appearance was attacked, sexist insults were hurled, I was told I was either boyfriendless with no hope of finding one, or that my boyfriend must be miserable, that everything I experienced in my life was in my head. All because of differing opinions. And I screen capped a bunch for a recent tumblr post too.

I would love to see this experiment play out complete with screencaps of similar ideas being said by the same person under differently gendered usernames and see the results. Someone should wait a while and try it. Document everything!

If I wasn’t so zonked, I’d go dig out the linguistic experiments that show the same text is evaluated completely differently when attached to clearly male name as opposed to female name. But I doubt that the rabid denialists would consider that any more substantive.

I would hope some of them would try posting under clearly feminine names, heh heh heh.

If they did post under a feminine name and get rape threats, they would still say women are too sensitive. After all, THEY weren’t worried by the insults and threats, why don’t women just laugh it off?

I’m going to do my own experiment and have an attractive female in photos, even when it’s totally unnecessary. Let’s see how positive her ratings are and how everyone agrees with her. There wouldn’t be a negative view of females on reddit if they didn’t use their gender for karma. She can change her user name all she wants but I would still be able to tell it’s a female from the lack of logic and accountability.

I haven’t seen any men cyberbullying a suicidal woman. Only females have done that to a MRA on reddit. You conveniently leave that out of your blog.

Also:

Look at all the hate against men on this blog. Look at all the hate for men who post on parenting blogs or wander into a mum’s blog. There are sites dominated by men and then there are female sites. It’s okay for females to have their own space but any time men try to have their own safe space they are called sexist.

“If they did post under a feminine name and get rape threats, they would still say women are too sensitive. After all, THEY weren’t worried by the insults and threats, why don’t women just laugh it off?”

Pretty much this.

For a guy telling a woman that her experiment was “biased”, Byron doesn’t realize that he and his own movement have a skewed view on EVERYTHING. Nearly everything they quote is either a misrepresentation or a lie, and even when there are a FEW things they are right on…what do they do with it?

“Looking through DavidByron’s comment history I see that along with being an MRA he’s also … a Stalinist, who is basically the equivalant of a holocaust denier when it comes to Stalin’s genocidal mass murders.”

AKA Democrat

Very scientific.

I know a guy who was forced by a woman to drink radiator fluid. This proves that all women force men to drink radiator fluid. This in turn proves that all women hate all men.

Feminists are so full of it, there is no way to even talk to any of you.

LOL @ MRAs suspicious of anecdotal evidence, when that’s pretty much all they use

“I know a guy who was falsely accused”

“My brother’s friend’s wife totally screwed him in a divorce”

“A woman called me a creep for no reason”

these are the things you hear from these idiots all the time, but no one should dare question their manly, objective experiences!

Also the studies they DO use are either discredited and full of methodological flaw. They never examine the counter studies because it’s dismissed as feminist dogma or some bullshit. Many MRAs go as far to not even believe anything from academic institutions because it’s “leftist”

‘I guess people’s true colors come out when they can be anonymous online.’

Trudat

Feminists are so full of it, there is no way to even talk to any of you.

And yet, you troll on…

Feminists are so full of it, there is no way to even talk to any of you.

Says the self-professed lying troll.

Except you idiots make arguments like that all the time! are you really so blind to your cult? its not radiator fluid, but its all women are golddiggers, all women are out to get men, all women will falsely accuse you if they can get away with it, all women have a programmed need to discriminate against men.

This is a comment from your beloved AVfM

Jean Valjean
Misogyny is the hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.

We needn’t express all three of these in order to be called misogynist.

In fact, most of us, as a consequence of being MRA’s and speaking about the issues, must express a distrust of women in general and feminists in particular.

Since feminists are universally reviled by MRA’s it’s clear that most of us dislike feminists be they male or female.

And I will not shrink from my own anger over the callousness and indifference that feminists and many women show towards male suffering. My blood still boils at the sexual mutilation committed by Katherine Kieu Becker and the overwhelming approval by women and the media of this heinous act. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to express hatred for people who laugh and cheer at the torture and mutilation of a human being? It is not my humanity which is in question. It is theirs.

My personal belief is that any man who seeks to be free from female control and exploitation must adopt misogyny. And to adopt misogyny a male must embrace 2 of the 3 criteria for misogyny. Those 2 should be a distrust and dislike of women.

Because women are genetically programmed to discriminate against men then the only way to create a gender equal society is for men to create an equal playing field by adopting a similar stance on women.

Just as men are forced to prove our worth; forced to attain status just so we can have basic respect and human dignity, so to should women prove they are not misandrists, that they have not engaged in exploitation of men, that they have not betrayed men, made false accusations of men, committed violence against men directly or by proxy.

Misogyny is the right of a free man. To dislike and distrust someone who has done nothing to earn your trust or affection is exactly what women do to men. Why shouldn’t we be allowed to protect ourselves from bigoted women who will dupe us into marriage with promises of love and then leave when it profits them most; taking our children, our property, and raping us emotionally and financially?

I will not shrink from accusations of misogyny. I will own those words so that they have no power anymore. By owning those words we remove the weapons that feminists use against us.

Men give women power over us by believing what they say and responding to their claims of victimhood. Words like misogynist, woman hater, rapist, and the like are the targeting laser that women use to designate those males that they wish violence be inflicted upon. So long as those words have power no men will be safe from violence by proxy and politicians will kow tow to feminists knowing that one word from them will destroy their careers.

Misogyny is to all men as “uppity” is to a black man. They expect us to know our place. So long as we fear these words then that place will always be subordinate to female privilege.

I’ve heard men say they would support the MRM if there weren’t misogynists. They fear the disapproval of women. And yet, by speaking against feminists and female privilege we are being misogynist ie. distrust and dislike.

The only way to overcome that is to embrace it, explain it, and own it. How can we all be free if we are not allowed to distrust or dislike women or to hate those women who commit horrible acts against us directly or by proxy?

Misogyny is the right of any man who would be free.

I am a misogynist.

8 0

Magpie, thanks a lot for that link. Now I have another timesuck to look through. 🙂

Try commenting as a woman on The Spearhead or RooshV! Even the most innocent remark is met by “Shut up you dumb bitch” and so on. For this reason I post on Yahoo Answers as a male, and I get much more respect, though someone did call me a Mangina the other day. But the abuse leveled at women online is remarkable. It’s easy to anonymously vent your rage online as your victims are unable to retaliate. I doubt they would ever have the balls to hurl such insults at a woman IRL.

it’s hilarious seeing women on the spearhead agree with them but still get downvoted. The most extreme MRAs are so emotional when it comes to women they can’t even see when she’s agreeing with them.

“It’s easy to anonymously vent your rage online as your victims are unable to retaliate. I doubt they would ever have the balls to hurl such insults at a woman IRL.”

They’re probably self-hating White Knights, Manginas. I see these guys doing everything for a woman and she still has no interest in him. They would be better off to get some balls and treat women how they deserve in public.

none I would hope, for the sake of those women. But there are lots of female misogynists and FeMRAs who rationalize the misogyny away by believing themselves super special and above those horrible women who dare stand up for themselves!

@Fembot See, even when insulting men they use gendered terms to discredit them. A feminist man is a mangina. He’s a pussy, a bitch, or a girly man. This is the issue I was taking with an interview of girlwriteswhat the other day. She talked about how she tells her son to “pull up his big girl pants” when he’s being lazy or whiny. They are not sexist, yet all their insults are insinuating that women/their sex organs are inferior. How often do you see feminists calling GWW or the other lady MRAs dicks or wopenises (lol, I don’t know, because I honestly can’t think of an insult that is similar. Maybe tranny or drag queen but that’s more a dig at the inferiority of lgbt’s than men).

Holly, that link… wtf. That poor girl.

There’s a lot of people either saying or almost-saying that rape is a suitable punishment for a girl doing pot at 14.

Actually, Jesus, I didn’t even fully process how fucked up that is.

Doing pot at 14? You are too young for such things! Someone should contact social services! You’re a bad, bad teenager, and deserve whatever happens to you while high, because you’re just too damn young.

Consenting to sex while high? Yeah, you’re totally mature enough to do that. In fact, you should know that you need to shout “no” 9 or 10 times so that the guy, who is young and naive, truly understands that you’re not interested in doing anything more.

Vomit vomit vomit.

I’ve done this experiment. I did it back on usenet. I did it in BBSs. I’ve done it on Blogs.

Digby did it, and the comments to her posts, when she revealed herself as a woman, changed.

One of the things I did was to look for a perrenial topic. Then I’d make a post, and save the text. A month, or two later, when the topic came round again on the guitar, I’d make exactly the same post, and see what I got in response. Some of the time I got very different responses from people who had previously commented.

I’m not even going to look at that post. There’s not enough of this amazing Märzen I’m drinking to cope with that.

It’s really good. The malt was dried over a slow beechwood fire, and tastes sort of like whisky, but without the burn. I rather like whisky, which makes this a really interesting beer. I shall have to get more of it.

What I notice most are the comments about my tone. I say something I think of as fairly dry and I am typing with an actual smile on my face and all sorts of people tell me how I am being too emotional or angry.

>>Yep. Reddit is full of douchebags.

Melisandre: “Lord of Light, shine your light on us. For Reddit is dark, and full of douchebags.”

When a female MRA is attacked by misogynists the other MRAs are too scared to defend her or even condemn the attacks. Don’t want to be called a white knight or Mangina…

What do we expect? Feminism has been hating on men for 50 years. Of course once ordinary men realize how they’ve been betrayed, they’re going to misconstrue feminism (modern chivalry) for womanism, and they’re going to hate on women. These are silly experiments conducted without regard to relevant parameters. We are simply witnessing the symptoms of an already diseased culture.

The hatred of women is a predictable response to the past 50 years of feminism. No surprises there. And it’s going to get a lot worse. You cannot hate without expecting hate in return. Any movement with the superiority of one gender implied in its name will ultimately be interpreted as a gender-supremacist movement, with a backlash being its inevitable result. I would have been more interested in these experiments had they been conducted before contemporary feminism had taken root.

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